As modern, digital solutions for elderly care become more readily available today on the market, nursing homes looking to optimise and streamline their operations can consider implementing these solutions. This is nonetheless convenient for those today still using devices that are reliant on old and outdated analogue platforms. The new and advanced innovations offer highly personalised solutions, especially with the integration of artificial intelligence in some of the devices.
Care receivers are undoubtedly benefitting greatly from these digital solutions, which can also help to solve a wide range of challenges faced by nursing and care homes. Some of these challenges are deriving from the changing landscape of elderly care, due to the total analogue switch off set to take place in 2025.
Taking a closer look at the elderly care landscape in Europe
In the context of technology enabled care, a report published by Berg Insight found that the vast majority of telecare services in Europe are still relying and operating on analogue platforms, with the exception of the Nordic countries which have fully adopted and implemented modern digital solutions. In terms of volume of telecare users, the United Kingdom has the most users, followed by Spain and Germany, respectively. The UK is unfortunately still behind in the implementation of modern solutions, something that needs to be addressed as there is so much potential to be tapped and unlocked, by simply moving to such modern platforms. This move would allow the implementation of digital systems and solutions like cloud-based platforms which in turn would allow solutions providers and care homes to easily update their current system.
The demand for elderly care and housing in Europe is rising rapidly, with a report suggesting that by 2050, the population aged over 75 will have almost doubled, from 46 million, to 88 million. Another important factor to consider is the growing shortage of care providers in Europe, as well as the important issue of the digital divide – the gap between those who have access to modern communication and information technology, and those who don’t – or are not able to fully operate the technology i.e. able to use this type of modern devices. Something that’s not uncommon among the elderly in particular. While these areas of concern are complicated and require complex approaches, care homes can also look to implement modern smart solutions to indirectly address common challenges in elderly care homes.
A glance at some of the challenges in nursing homes today, and the importance of creating a conducive working environment for both care receivers and providers
While different nursing homes encounter different problems, here are some of the most common challenges faced by care homes, and how some of the modern solutions available today can help in addressing the issues:
Higher upkeep and maintenance costs and fees – these may stem from many different factors that will vary from one nursing home to another, however, transitioning to digital and smart elderly care solutions today can result in cost savings. As an example, the implementation of incontinence products with smart sensors led to gross annual cost savings of up to 222K NOK per year per patient, for an entry fee of merely 14K NOK.
Sleep disruptions in care receivers – regular nightly visits can be disruptive to care receivers. Nursing homes, however, can opt to implement smart cameras to efficiently monitor the care receivers, without disrupting their sleep.
Visiting hour restrictions – given the visiting hour restrictions implemented in most nursing homes, relatives of care providers can be integrated to the system, providing them with access to the smart cameras which then also can be used to virtually talk to their loved ones in the nursing homes.
In addition to the above mentioned, one of the most important concerns to address is the issue of staffing, given the highly challenging job of being a care provider in nursing homes and care homes. In 2021, a study published by Health Affairs found that the annual turnover rate was already at 128%, and in some cases reported, as high as over 300%.
The use of modern solutions in addressing the challenges in nursing homes
With the prevalence of these common and day-to-day challenges in nursing homes, the implementation of highly adaptable and customisable solutions today can help ease and potentially eliminate the problems faced by nursing homes. In fact, a nursing home in Lisbon, Portugal has recently transitioned to smart solutions and replaced their outdated and discontinued call pendants with a modern personal alarm solution from Viser. By doing this, staff saw a significant improvement from the old system which was reliant on alarm buttons placed on the bedside and in the bathroom of each room, as compared to the new wearable pendants that the residents could trigger anytime and anywhere. The staff were able to manage these alarms effectively through a mobile phone app also integrated into the system.
The implementation of the modern and efficient alarm pendants resulted in a less stressful environment for both the care providers and the care receivers, allowing the staff to focus on spending quality time with the residents instead of being overwhelmed by manual work that the old solution required. This would ultimately improve the overall quality of care.
In addition to personal alarm pendants, Viser also offers other modern care solutions such as medication management solutions with medication dispensers, relieving the care providers of the time-consuming task of keeping track of medication regimens. Tracking and positioning devices are also offered by Viser – a solution that grants care receivers more freedom in nursing homes as they won’t need the same direct and constant supervision by their care providers to track their position.
Above mentioned are just some examples of how smart solutions can impact the work environment in a positive manner, and how the availability of other uniquely customised solutions can greatly aid in improving the quality of care in nursing and elderly care homes.
Implement modern solutions in your nursing home today with Skyresponse
Given the complexity of many challenges in nursing homes, along with the importance of transitioning from analogue solutions as soon as possible, care providers should look into modern systems and solutions that allow them to customise their solutions to meet the specific needs regarding both care receivers and care providers. Skyresponse offers a 100% cloud-based and futureproof platform, allowing care homes to build a system that meets their needs or update their existing solutions to further improve their services.